Single-make specialists Total Control Racing made a superb endurance debut in the Britcar night race at Brands Hatch, taking third overall and a class win in the 90 minute race on the Kent venue's Indy circuit.
With father and son team Ray and Alex MacDowall sharing the driving duties of the Ginetta G50 the team completed 103 laps of the 1.2 mile track, beaten only by the Rollcentre Mosler of Martin Short and the MJC Ltd Ferrari of Witt Gamski and Keith Robinson – the latter of which had won every other race this season, a standing which puts TCR's achievement into some prespective.
MacDowall the elder had started the car from tenth on the grid, however a spin on lap three dropped the car down to 18th – deep among the slower production cars which he was easily able to pass to climb back into the top ten.
Handing over to his son – who has just completed his debut season in the British Touring Car Championship – the team's fortunes continued to improve. After dropping back out of the top ten while the mandatory pitstops cycled through Alex was soon on the charge towards to top three, taking fourth after 76 laps and third after 90 laps.
“I didn't know what to expect jumping into a rear-wheel drive sports car for the first time,” said Alex. “On my first lap I thought it was an angry machine trying to spit me off into the tyre barriers every time I put the power down!”
“Once the tyres were up to temperature though, it was a joy to drive. You could power-slide it out of the corners and lift-off mid-corner which you can't do in a front-wheel drive touring car. As soon as I got the technique right I knew a class victory was on the menu. My dad did a good job in his stint, the pit-stop went well and then I drove as fast as I could to make up as much ground as possible.”
The pair finished six laps off the overall leaders, but two laps ahead of Britcar regulars Javier Morcillo and Manuel Cintrano who finished second in the class and seventh overall.
“With the help of Alex and Ray we've shown we can be very competitive in this style of racing, it's definitely something we're looking at seriously for 2011 to run alongside our regular campaigns in Clios and Ginettas,” said TCR boss Lee Brookes. “We always thought it would be a good weekend but to have turned out as well as it has is testament to all the hard work the entire team has put in.”